On this day in history, in the afternoon, Lady Jane Grey, daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and Frances Brandon (daughter of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk), was proclaimed Queen at the Tower of London.
Jane, her husband, Guildford Dudley (son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland), Jane’s parents and Guildford’s mother had travelled from Syon to the Tower by barge and as Jane and Guildford processed through the gates of the Tower under a canopy of state they were greeted by a gun salute. Trumpets then hushed the waiting crowd and two heralds proclaimed that Jane was Queen. The heralds then proclaimed Jane Queen at Cheapside and Fleet Street.
The primary source for this information is “The Diary of Henry Machyn: Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London (1550-1563)”, which can be found at British History Online. Machyn wrote:
“The x day of July was reseyvyd in to the Towre [the Queen Jane] with a grett compeny of lords and nobulls of… after the qwen, and the duches of Suffoke her mother, bering her trayn, with mony lades, and ther was a shot of gunnes and chamburs has nott be sene oft be-tweyn iiij and v of [the clock]; by vj of the cloke be-gane the proclamasyon the same [after-]non (of) qwen Jane with ij harold(s) and a trompet blohyng, [declaring] that my lade Mare was unlafully be-gotten, and so [went through] Chepe to Fletstrett, proclamyng qwen Jane; and ther was a yong man taken that tym for spykyng of serten wordes of qwen Mare, that she had the ryght tytle.”
Machyn went on to write of the fate of the boy who dared declare that Mary was the rightful queen:
“The xj day of July, at viij of the cloke in the mornyng, the yonge man for spykyng was sett on the pelere, and boyth ys heres [ears] cutt off; for ther was a harold, and a trompeter blohyng; and [in-] contenent he was taken downe, and cared to the [Counter]…”
Tamise Hills, from The Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide Blog, wrote a wonderful guest article last year on Jane’s arrival at the Tower and descriptions of her physical appearance. Click here to read it now.
Notes and Sources
- Machyn, Henry (1848) The Diary of Henry Machyn: Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London (1550-1563), p34-50